Punta Tombo Provincial Reserve is the largest Magellanic penguin continental colony on the coast of Patagonia.
Even if Punta Tombo Reserve is in the outskirts of Camarones, this is one of the most popular tours among visitors to the area, as it promises one of the most fascinating shows of nature.
We resolved to drive to the penguin colony very early on a sunny spring day. We traveled along the gravel road very cautiously as we contemplated that arid and inhospitable zone.
As we accessed the reserve, we were moved to see the immense amount of penguins nesting there and experiencing life naturally, unaware of the presence of humans.
Protected natural area
Interpretation Center Magellanic penguins
A great experience for children
With their young
The largest Magellan penguin continental colony
A fascinating specimen
Accompanied by a local guide, we went around the colony and observed the area teeming with caves and the activities carried out by these birds. While some of them dug their caves, others moved from one place to another leaving their chicks behind, fought for their territory or headed for the sea in search of food.
They place their eggs inside the caverns. As the eggs hatch, they take care of their young. We were told that the male is somewhat taller than the female. The latter lay their eggs early in October and brood for 40 days. Both parents watch the nest and their offspring jointly.
Punta Tombo is defined as a 3-kilometer long and 600-meter wide piece of land sticking out to sea, featuring beaches made of sand, clay and gravel. The penguins constantly cross this territory to dive into the sea and catch the anchovy and small squid they like so much.
But the penguins are not the only dwellers of the coast ecosystem. Other sea birds have chosen this space to develop their life cycles quietly. Grey kelp gulls, cormorants, rock shags, steamer ducks and several terns and petrels nest in the area.
Punta Tombo Reserve is a tourist destination itself. The unusual concentration of bird fauna and the easy observation are mighty attractions for the thousands of Argentinian and foreign visitors that come along every season.
On the way back to Camarones, we were feeling tired but satisfied after the long journey along desert roads. The pleasant memory of these birds, their peculiar gait and plumage resembling a tuxedo remained with us.
Mónica Pons Eduardo Epifanio
Contact of the excursion or tour
Av. Roca 31 (9120) Puerto Madryn, ChubutTel: +54 2965-453712
See more points of interest in Camarones